Monday, March 12, 2012

Galub jamun, foie gras, or meatloaf

The change to Daylight Saving Time has messed with my bio-rhythms. It's past 2 a.m. I slept for awhile then got up. Advice seems to say that if you're not sleeping, you should get up, have warm milk, and do something soothing. I'm drinking warm milk and thinking about food. You may have noticed this blog is called Cooking + Praying. So where's the cooking? It has been on my mind, even though there's nothing going on in the kitchen. I've even been eating random things out of my pantry because there's so little to eat and I've been disinclined to plan a meal and actually go shopping for it. But, maybe if I get an inspiration . . .

So I pull out the old, old game I used to play in my early cooking days. Randomly, without looking, I pull a cookbook off the shelf and open it to a page. That's what I have to cook. I used to do it because I liked the challenge and ended up cooking some things I never would have tried otherwise.

Here's what just happened. I have probably 130 cookbooks (no, I didn't count) and by chance I picked an old one that I've had for a long time and actually used quite a bit. It's "The Vegetarian Epicure" by Anna Thomas. But the recipe that came up is a new one to me. It's called Galub Jamun, described as "a very special sort of Indian sweetmeat, with an impossible fragrance: roses and saffron." It takes days to make and it requires saffron and rose water. They advise the reader, "Don't be fazed by this." Sorry, I faze easily I suppose.

Can I get a second opinion? Even though I love tackling Indian recipes, I don't think I feel like taking on galub jamun at the moment, even though it sounds a little exotic and quite delicious. So I go back to the shelf, close my eyes, and see what happens with the second choice. It's a Barefoot Contessa book--Foie Gras with Roasted Apples. Ina Garten is so reliable and I've never been disappointed with any of her recipes. But it calls for one whole Grade A duck foie gras. Umm. . . where am I going to find foie gras and how much is it going to cost? Sorry, Ina.

Time for a third and final round. I have rejected the first two for being overly complicated, expensive, and having hard-to-find or costly ingredients. The next book? Sheila Lukins' "U.S.A. Cookbook," and the recipe (page 358) is Picadillo Meat Loaf. Okay--it's hard to object to meat loaf. I'm not making it tonight but I will make a list, go to the grocery store tomorrow, and report back on how it worked out.

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